Within the average Yoga class, or ashram, the principles of mindfulness are mentioned for the benefit of Yoga students, their friends, and the people they associate within the course of a day. Mindfulness is living in the moment, and putting the wisdom you have learned, during Yoga class, into practice. Therefore, mindfulness is carried into everyday situations. What good is learning Yoga, if you cannot apply it to "real life?" If all you learn, in your Yoga class, is postures, then you have missed out on the vastness of Yoga and its many aspects.
With that said, we will discuss the aspect of mindfulness, as it applies to our communication with others. Whenever, you engage another person in conversation, always think before talking. This may sound simple, but everybody knows someone who does not think before talking. Hence the saying, "Putting his/her foot in his/her mouth.
" Children do this, but it is innocent, and they do not yet understand all the rules of etiquette. Your mind has many random thoughts, and there is no need to expose them to the world. Good politicians, sales people, and diplomats are masters at saying enough to stay out of a conflict, but still manage to get a particular point across. What is the technique they use? In a "nut shell," it is mindfulness. Try to avoid conversation when you are not focused, tense, or not in the present moment. If a situation seems potentially volatile, you should pick the time to engage the other party in conversation.
Set the tone of the conversation by using a relaxed approach and listen carefully. When you maintain an air of good will and positive thoughts, it becomes difficult to pursue a conflict with you. Be aware that when you slow down and relax, most people will respond the same.
Therefore, you can control a meeting by radiating thoughts of kindness. You do this by showing respect and thinking positively about the other person, despite your differences. There are exceptions to every rule, and I do not endorse complete surrender, unless you are wrong. However, when you listen emphatically and are fully present for the other party, you will most likely resolve, or avoid, a conflict. All of us need to learn to laugh at ourselves and develop a sense of humor. This will give you a completely different perspective of yourself, and you won't worry about feeling embarrassed or making a mistake.
This perspective will also allow you to be mindful of yourself and your words. If you take the time to speak with gentleness, mindfulness, and loving kindness, the world will respond in kind. At the same time you won't waste energy defending your ego. Always remember the old saying, "Life is too short to waste time fighting." © Copyright 2005 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications.
Paul Jerard is the director of Yoga teacher training at Aura in RI. He's a master instructor of martial arts and Yoga. He teaches Yoga, martial arts, and fitness. He wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students wanting to be a Yoga teacher. http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org